This Chick Read: Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman

Other People’s Houses looks behind the curtain into all of the relationships in a block of houses in the Larchmount neighborhood of Los Angeles. Frances Bloom, as the volunteer driver of all of the neighbors children, she gets an eyeful into the lives of her next door neighbor that makes everyone take a second look into their own marriage.

Although the point of view changes from character to character I mostly identified with Frances, the mother of four, slightly overweight stay at home wife who spends her days making other peoples lives easier. Not to say that I make people’s lives easy, but she was more the “everyman” character in this book, so seeing through her eyes was easier and her point of view was very clear. When she catches one of her neighbors in infidelity she keeps her mouth shut, but her knowing creates a cause and effect that builds into a tsunami that breaks over that neighborhood, changing the lives of not only the adults but all of the children as well.

I LOVED Abbi Waxman’s first novel The Garden of Small Beginnings. It too dealt with a difficult subject as the main character, widower and mother of two, Lili, was still trying to get over the death of her husband. It was a story of letting go and moving forward told through humor. The infidelity in Other People’s Houses was also hard to read, but more so because of how it affected all of the children. There was still a bit of humor but I cried more than I laughed in this book. The funny commentary between mothers and children were present but it was almost bittersweet because of the lesson they were all learning from someone else’s mistake.

Other People’s Houses needs to stand on it’s own and not be compared to The Garden of Small Beginnings, and I think I did it a disservice at first for being so eager to look for a laugh. I was disappointed when I didn’t get it until further into the book. Abbi Waxman still did an amazing job creating credible, real, emotional characters. I really liked these people so was able to get involved in their stories, but it did take me a little bit to understand that this was not going down the road I had wanted to take and my journey was going to be a lot more emotional. If you enjoy reading books about heartbreaking relationships with an occasional laugh then you will really like this book. If you read The Garden of Small Beginnings, be warned, you are not getting the same uplifting novel with Other People’s Houses, but you will still be enthralled with the story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Other People's

Click this link to purchase! Other People’s Houses

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: A Piece of My Heart (Blessings, Georgia #4) by Sharon Sala

Mercy Dane grew up in the foster system, works as a waitress in a rundown bar and drives a Harley. She also has a rare blood type and is a registered blood donor. When she gets an emergency call from a hospital in Georgia to give blood to an accident victim, she races for her Harley and drives an hour and a half to save a strangers life.  This dichotomy in Mercy’s character immediately gained my interest. She is tough, yet caring at the same time. Reticent by nature, Mercy quietly sits in the waiting room while drinking juice and catches the eyes of the victims family. Her resemblance to Hope, the victim, is commented on and suddenly Mercy is swept into the possibility that her lonely life may have ended.

Ron Pittman, sheriff of Blessings Georgia, catches sight of Mercy in the hospital and flashes back to the one night stand they had in their youth that meant so much to him. The fact that Mercy may have ties to Blessings is a welcome surprise, a surprise he takes immediate  advantage of!

I really enjoyed this novel in the Blessings Georgia series. Mercy’s background made her an easy character to root for, and the fact that this good looking sheriff has thought about her all of these years and has the patience to get through all of her defenses made their love story a great read. I also liked the fact that she got reunited with her long lost sister and thought their reunion was very well written and not overdone. Her sister Hope was sweet, and the humor Sharon Sala wrote into the novel made me laugh and sigh in all the right places. I have not read any of the other novels in this series and except for figuring out that Hope and her husband had their own novel, I don’t feel like I missed anything in reading this as a stand alone and would recommend that to anyone else who doesn’t want to read books 1-3 just to catch up. Although I will say that I liked the characters of Blessings Georgia and will probably go back and look for a previous novel just to relive its sweet charm.❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!  A Piece of My Heart (Blessings, Georgia) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd #1) by Jen Turano

Ms. Permilia Griswold is a wallflower. For those of you who don’t read historical romances a wallflower is a lady designated odd, old, or just unpopular who sits on the sidelines at societies balls, her dance card empty, always. Asher Rutherford is considered one of the most eligible bachelors despite being in trade as the owner of a very successful department store. The fact he comes from a good family lets gold digging mothers overlook his businessman title. Permilia is a very attractive young lady, but she was brought up by a single father who taught her to speak her mind, forgetting that one day she’d have to find a husband. Oh, the good old days!

Permilia uses her title of wallflower by writing a gossip column, using her position in society to give details about dress styles and behind the scenes home decorations. Pretty banal, but it subsidizes her pocket money which she uses to support a home for underprivileged women. While snooping about a ball, Permilia overhears a couple of men talk about killing Asher Rutherford. She is determined to warn him and when he ignores her warnings she follows him around town undercover in order to help save his life. There is a little slapstick comedy in these scenes which is old fashioned but fits perfectly into the mood of this novel.

I really enjoyed Permilia’s spirit! She has a good head on her shoulders, uses her place in privileged society to help women below her in rank learn a trade so they can find jobs. She is honorable in her reporting, only giving details that wouldn’t hurt anyone and not using names. She is outspoken, but not rude, well at least not to strangers. When she and Asher meet he is fascinated by her. He shouldn’t have been because she’s not the usual young miss that is thrown his way. He keeps trying to treat her as such and she just steamrolls right over his good manners and breeding with a matter of fact charm and good humor.

The two of them have great chemistry, but even more important you could see them as being great friends. Jen Turano’s dialog paints a picture of a suffrage woman and a rather old fashioned young gentleman matching wits, while being charmed by each other. I couldn’t help but be charmed as well.  If you like historicals, you’ll want to add this book to your TBR. This is a PG rated historical romance appropriate for any age reader. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase! Behind the Scenes (Apart From the Crowd) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

An Interview with Mary Ann Marlowe author of Some Kind of Wonderful and A Crazy Kind of Love #Giveaway


Mary Ann, thanks so much for letting me read your novel A Crazy Kind of Love. I love how your main characters Jo and Micah are not only fun, charming, and quirky, but they have backgrounds that give them depth and grit. That combination makes it easy to care about them but it also makes me think about those characters long after I finished the book.

ME: A Crazy Kind of Love started off really quick with Jo and Micah’s first meeting. As I read it I thought of how, as a woman, you just relish the “how did you meet your boyfriend/husband” question if you have a great story. Jo and Micah certainly have that when he literally sweeps her off her feet to get that perfect shot. Did you find inspiration for Jo and Micah from your own “how did you meet story”? If so, would you share? If not, was it someone elses?

Mary Ann: That’s a really great question. But no, I’ve never been in quite the same situation Jo and Micah find themselves in at the start of this novel. While I do tend to draw details from my own life to weave into my writing here and there, most of my plot derives from pure wish-fulfillment of an overactive imagination. However, I will confess to some odd meet-cutes, and I have toyed with one as potential fodder for a novel, but none of them ended up in a long-term relationship, so they’d make better fiction than anecdotes.

ME: After reading the first novel Some Kind of Magic and seeing how much Eden, Micah’s sister, wanted a normal life after growing up with her vagabond parents. It was interesting to see that Micah was unfazed and in fact drew inspiration from that same vagabond background. Which character was more fun for you to write? Eden’s straight arrow or Micah’s happy go lucky dreamer?

Mary Ann: You know I have to say I love them both, right? Eden’s the cool girl I could imagine myself being if I were actually cool. I loved putting on her skin and watching her react to all the shocks she had to navigate to find herself, but I think I had more fun with Micah. (I’ve actually written Micah fan fiction with a friend.)

Micah’s so different from me. He’s got such a great optimistic perspective on life, but he’s also a bit of a brat, and that always makes me laugh. I honestly don’t know where he even came from, but from the minute he materialized in Some Kind of Magic, I knew he would be a blast to hang out with.  I hadn’t started out intending to give him his own story, and at first, I wasn’t sure he could even be a serious contender for a romance hero. But when I dove in, he surprised me in so many ways.

ME: I found Jo fascinating! She was of mixed heritage, yet was brought up by her very American single mother. She has a famous, long distance Indian father, who is culturally very different from her. Yet, except for some very understandable daddy issues, she is very well rounded! How difficult or easy was it to write and develop a character who was desperate to learn more about her Indian heritage but also be so secure with who she wants to be? Where did you draw your inspiration for Jo?

Mary Ann: When I started writing Jo, I was thinking a lot about what identity means, or specifically what it means to have an identity that nobody can see unless they know to look. Her main identity is that she’s from Atlanta, so she’s thoroughly American, but she has this buried heritage she can choose to show or hide, and it’s fraught with more significance than anyone will ever understand. I don’t think this is uncommon as we all have deep mines of intersectional identities that may or may not all be visible.

As for inspiration, quite honestly, I do not know. I start writing characters and then let them develop on their own and tell me who they are. I didn’t even realize Jo was diabetic until l’d written several chapters. When she nearly passed out, it came as a total shock to me, and I wasn’t sure what was going on with her. Then I went back to re-read what I’d written, and it was all there in subtle behavioral clues.

ME: Social media played a big part in A Crazy Kind of Love. Jo and Micah connected through Twitter, her fellow papparazzi stalk their celebrities on Twitter in current time so they know where to find them to take their photos. Jo, more than Micah struggles with issues of privacy and boundaries. If Jo and Micah were real people in todays world how would their views of using social media change? Or wouldn’t it?

Mary Ann: I want to say Micah’s views wouldn’t change, but I think they’ve already begun to shift when the crosshairs point to someone he loves. Micah has typical millennial views on privacy, figuring it’s all out there anyway, so why bother hiding? Jo, on the other hand, would have her Facebook page locked down to friends only (how else would she talk to Mom?), and she’d never set foot on Twitter again. With a boyfriend like Micah, I suspect she wouldn’t be spending much time online anyway.

ME: I saw changes in both characters that made them stronger as a couple. Who do you think had to develop and grow more? Why?

Mary Ann: Such a great question. Ideally, they both matured in the course of the book, but as much as Micah needed to grow up and take life more seriously, I think Jo went through the bigger transformation, redefining big concepts like happiness and success. Unlike Micah, Jo had some heavy issues in her history to confront and resolve before she could trust someone as carefree as Micah.

ME: Hopefully, you are writing your next novel. Can you tell us a little bit about your next project? Will it be in this same series?

Mary Ann: The book I’m working on right now isn’t in the same series exactly, but it’s loosely in the same world. It’s called Dating By the Book and was pitched as “An unlucky-in-love author begins corresponding with the book reviewer who criticized the romance in her latest novel and challenges her to find love herself before writing about it.” It’s basically a love letter to books, bookstores, readers, reviewers, and authors. And it’s filled with so many tropes. So very many tropes.

I have drafted another book in the Flirting with Fame series about a behind-the-scenes character you might remember as Pumpkin from the fan forums.  I thought it would be fun to see what would happen if I pulled her out from behind the computer screen and plopped her in the middle of a band she worships. And as usual, it wasn’t what I expected.

Mary Ann, thanks again for stepping away from your writing desk to take a few minutes to answer some questions about Jo and Micah from A Crazy Kind of Love! I really enjoyed your answers!

To purchase Some Kind of Magic click here!  Some Kind of Magic (Flirting with Fame)

To purchase A Crazy Kind of Love click here!  A Crazy Kind of Love (Flirting with Fame)

Mary Ann has provided one signed copy of each of her books, Some Kind of Wonderful and A Crazy Kind of Love! I highly recommend both of these novels. Enter the Giveaway by clicking the link below! US only!

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This Chick Read: Sweet Tea and Sympathy (Southern Eclectic book 1) by Molly Harper

Margot Cary’s career as an event planner in Chicago ends with the biggest splash in Chicago’s elite society and her name becomes synonymous with failure. What she needs is some time off for people to forget what happened, and for her to dust off her resume and find a new job. Out of the blue, her great Aunt gives her a call and asks her to come help run the family business, The McCreary Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Yep, you wouldn’t think the two would have anything to do with each other, and no, they did not use someone’s toes as bait. Margot is skeptical about the job and doesn’t know anything about her father or his side of the family, but desperation and the need for a job makes her accept the job, at least temporarily. However, along with the job comes a family that she never knew she wanted, and a father who she thought didn’t want her.

This novel is a little bit family saga and a little bit romance. Don’t let that hint of romance fool you, this novel is about a girl who never knew she was lost, until she was found.  I loved the contrast of Margot’s fish out of water city girl attitude and the kookiness of her small town family. They had a ton of heart and the way they melted Margot’s endeared them to me and made me relish those scenes.

When Margot and Kyle meet, Margot is drawn to his sweet sadness. I don’t want to say their love story was lackluster, but it was certainly secondary to her need to learn about this new family and get to know a father that she felt abandoned her as a child and that didn’t disappoint me at all. Kyle was certainly wonderful, but he had a lot going on in his head too. I liked how the gentle Southern pace of their romance allowed the reader to focus on the other more central story line about family and roots and also made Kyle’s journey of acceptance of this new relationship feel real.

The name of this book, Sweet Tea and Sympathy was certainly apropos both to the southern roots of Margot’s family and also some of the challenges that needed to be overcome by both Margot and Kyle before finding happiness. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Sweet Tea

Click this link to purchase!  Sweet Tea and Sympathy (Southern Eclectic Book 1)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

When I challenged myself to read The Hating Game in the next 30 days on my blog I pretty much put the kiss of death on the book. I’d glance over at it and think, I have time! If it wasn’t for the fact that I actually gave the book away on that same blog post I probably would’ve procrastinated as I’ve done with other books. At long last I picked it up and read the first chapter. Hmmm, I checked out the cover again. This book seemed to have it all; a catchy title, cute cover and the synopsis was interesting. I read another chapter and the next time I looked up it was 12:30am. Wait, what? I started to read the first paragraph of the next chapter and then slammed the book shut. I must go to bed because I have to go to work tomorrow! The next day, I could not stop thinking about this book and couldn’t wait to get back into it. Needless to say, it was absolutely FABULOUS! Sally Thorne, you wrote one fine book!

Lucy and Josh are both executive assistants to two co-owners of a publishing company. They sit across a glass and chrome room from each other and snark and stare at each other every day. True competitors they try to out perform each other while maintaining an icy glare. When they both apply for a promotion the game is stepped up. At least Lucy thought so until one evening when Josh pushed her up against the wall of the elevator as they were leaving work and gave her the kiss of her life. Lucy gave back as much as she got and that game of hate became an uncertainty. Was this not hate she felt? Did Josh feel the same way?

This book is so much more intricate than the premise leads you to believe. The tension is unbelievable and Josh is just YUM. To think that this is Sally Thorne’s first novel is pretty surprising. This book may not have been on your radar and I certainly never heard of it before, but I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for a new release from this author. If you love enemies to friend stories-read this book, it is great! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click Link to purchase! The Hating Game: A Novel

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This Chick Read: Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery

Kelly Murphy is being stalked by the boy she had a crush on in high school. Not stalked in a bad way but in a cute guy is very interested in her way. That would’ve been great but her memories of his rejection in high school are tied to her mothers infidelity and eventual abandonment. So, she’s somewhat disturbed that Griffith is showing signs of interest. However, she gets over those feelings pretty quick.

Olivia Murphy has been gone from home for years and decides to vacation back home with her sister and father. After running wild in her teens after her mother abandoned she and her sister with their father, she was sent to boarding school at fifteen and never really came back home. Now, she’s back and wants to fix her relationship with her father and sister.

Jeff Murphy is Kelly and Olivia’s father. He owns the tulip farm that he and Kelly run. When Olivia shows up, he’s overjoyed, but when her crazy mother shows up right after her, he’s a little overwhelmed. He had just started a relationship with Helen, Kelly’s best friend. To say Miriam’s appearance puts a kink in his sex life is putting it mildly.

As with all of Susan Mallery’s books, this was really well written. BUT, this book had so much going on! Kelly and Griffith’s budding relationship, Olivia starting fresh with her family and her multiple love interests, their fathers relationship with Helen, Helen’s insecurity with the ex wife showing up, an auction, a crazy mother, sheesh! I would’ve been happy with just one love story and the sisters renewing their relationship. Was the book good? Well, sure, but just when I started getting into one storyline, the POV shifted and I was reading from another characters POV. I will say that some of the issues in this book dealing with insecurity with sex, weight, self esteem, etc. were very realistic and I enjoyed seeing how these characters overcame these problems, but the amount of problems and who was sleeping with whom was a bit much. Will I keep reading Susan Mallery? Absolutely, so I guess it didn’t disappoint that much. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

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Secrets of the Tulip Sisters: A Novel Click link to purchase!

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: A Purely Private Matter (Rosalind Thorne Mysteries #2) by Darcie Wilde

Rosalind Thorne was brought up a young lady comfortable living in the upper eschelon of English Society. However, due to some unfortunate circumstances (her father swindled money and ran away) she is left living on the edge of society, still accepted but only as a companion. She makes her living giving advice and investigating matters for women, using her connections to maneuver through somewhat murky circumstances. In A Purely Private Matter, a friend introduces a woman to her whose husband is suing her for having an affair, one that she says she didn’t have. Rosalind, while investigating her claim finds herself in the center of an unsavory murder mystery and a partner of sorts to  Bow Street runner Adam Harkness.

I am really enjoying this series. It’s a little slower paced than I’m used to, however, the intricacies of society are fascinating. Rosalind, having been brought up comfortably, is adept at using her influence and is skilled at asking questions and putting all of the pieces together. She is paired up again with runner Adam Harkness, and we are given some insight into his hesitations at taking their relationship further because of the differences in their background. Her childhood sweatheart Devon, the Duke of something or other (I can’t remember, sorry!) is also still in the picture and Rosalind is torn between the two men. She is also almost single handedly figuring out the puzzle of who is the murderer. This novel has a slow wit and charm and the characters are unique and interesting. I’m definitely interested in reading the third novel.  ❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click link to purchase! A Purely Private Matter (Rosalind Thorne Mystery, A)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: I’m back from Vacation!

What a fabulous vacation!! Of course, after a week back at work it feels like it was weeks and weeks ago. However, I am hoping that by putting this post together and reviewing some of my photo’s I’ll put myself back in that relaxed vacation mode and get the most out of my three day weekend. Happy Labor Day to those of you in the States!

I promised I would share a few pictures of our trip to Venice, Italy. We really lucked out on the weather as a huge storm had gone through the night before we arrived and the weather was pretty mild. Low 80’s with a nice cool breeze. Coming from the humid south, it was a nice change.

First a little window shopping! Venice is known for textiles, Murano glass and masquerades! I threw in the pizza because well, I was hungry. Lol.


Tis next photo is of the Doge’s palace (a Doge is a nominated position, not a king, but certainly enjoyed the fruits of Venice’s battles!). Seriously, these Venetians really wanted to appear wealthy and gilded everything in gold. Very beautiful, but I kept thinking the maids must’ve had trouble dusting all of those extravagant ceilings!


We did see some other areas around Venice. The most colorful was Burano. Famous for their lace making. It was pretty spectacular! We did also do a little wine tasting. A few times, actually. Lol.


And of course, the Venice Canals!



We finally got that Gondola ride the day before we left. It is pricey, but really you only live once, you know? It’s a memory that I enjoyed making and will carry with me forever.

I hope you all enjoyed my Venice vacation photo’s!  Did any of you go anywhere on vacation this summer? I’d love to hear about it!

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chick Read: Lost and Found Sisters (Wildstone #1) by Jill Shalvis

Jill Shalvis is the Queen of sweet and sexy romances, and this book is definitely that. The love story between Quinn and Mick was slowly paced, emotion packed and sultry, but it was the story between Quinn and Tilly, the sister she just found, that stole the heart of this book.

Quinn, a sous chef at a trendy restaurant in LA is still trying to deal with the death of her sister Beth. Two years after her death, Quinn has still not been able to get over her heartbreak living life on the surface, but not letting herself feel because it hurts too much. Her life gets flipped on end again when she finds out she was adopted and she has a fifteen year old sister. Quinn travels to Wildstone with the intention of exploring her background in a weekend, but meets a handsome stranger, her teenage heartbroken sister, and a town full of kooky individuals who wrap their arms around her and she ends up staying forever.

I loved this novel. Allowing Quinn to work through her emotions about her sister Beth’s death while finding a new sister who would not replace but help bring out those feelings of love and belonging again was balanced so well. Added to the slow pace of her growing feelings for Mick complemented the other half of the plot. Well, it all just struck a perfect note for me. This is the first in the Wildstone series, so pick it up! It’s an easy, beautiful story that will make you feel good about life.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click link to purchase! Lost and Found Sisters: A Novel

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.